So, I just came across a post on Mamapop about celebrity adoptions where the conversation turned to celebrity baby names and a commenter said "I’ve seen some crazy kids names: “Arun,” “Gennyphyr,” etc."
Part of me was irritated, part of me got a chuckle. I wonder if the confusion didn't arise from the fact that the commenter obviously didn't know how to pronounce "Arun" and clearly doesn't have much experience with India or Indians (despite living in Chicago, oddly enough). "Arun" is a pretty common Indian name and is nothing spectacular, but we liked it. It means "the sun" and I also liked the simplicity of that - I didn't want to saddle my son with something grand like "Will conquer the world". Too much pressure. (Bonus Factoid: In Thai, it is a name for both boys AND girls . The owner of the Thai Place, a popular restaurant here, is also named Arun and she gets a special kick out of OUR Arun when we bring him in.)
However, it kills me when people act as if we got a wild hair up our asses and gave our son this huge albatross of a name. It kills me when someone squints their eyes at Arun's name after having just told me her daughter's name is "Tealey" as if that was a perfectly normal name - when in reality, it took me awhile to figure out her daughter's name was NOT "tealeaf". It kills me when people act confused over a TWO syllable name.
Anyway, when we gave our kid an Indian moniker it was for a simple reason - we liked the name. Besides, the kid will be raised Suburban White with a smoky hint of Ethnic Brown. By giving him a Desi First Name coupled with a bland, middle-class White Bread Middle Name, and then finished with a Curiously Christian Last Name, it's a sweet little reminder of where he comes from. He's a mutt, like the rest of us.